VICE: We Watched Gogol Bordello Play a Secret Gig in Ukraine

Exclusive: VICE World News was in attendance as the international punks and their Ukrainian-born frontman Eugene Hütz performed an exclusive set for soldiers at an undisclosed location.

By Nate Pommer

UKRAINE – This was a secret set with a difference: The venue was a sun-roasted slab of pavement; the “stage” was decked out with sandbags and camo netting; the backing band were all military; most of the audience wore body armour; the location of the gig itself strictly classified.

But this was the backdrop for international punks Gogol Bordello and their Ukrainian-born frontman to perform exclusively for Ukrainian service people in Ukraine last week, and VICE World News was there too.

Earlier this year the band, known for their explosive multicultural live shows, organised a series of benefit concerts for victims of the war in Ukraine, and pledged to donate a percentage of their touring profits too. Then a few weeks ago, Hütz, who emigrated to the US from Ukraine in the early 90s, received an invitation to play in Ukraine itself, a rock n’ roll show of solidarity for Ukrainian soldiers recently rotated out from the front line.

“I really wanted to do this because it’s incredibly uplifting for fighters to see that Ukrainians around the world are one,” Hütz told VICE World News. MORE